Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow If you think Russia’s food supply is crashing under the impact of international sanctions because that’s what the Obama Administration is telling its media, think again. This week’s reported panic over the staple buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum, groats, grits, гречневая крупа) is a figment.

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow It is easier to know what’s inside a McDonald’s hamburger than inside the corporation’s financial accounts. That’s because the type font on the internet version of the corporation’s financial reports is so small, a magnifying-glass is required at the computer screen to decipher the text; even then computer programming by McDonald’s [...]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow Boris Titov (centre) has proposed the revival of Crimean winemaking with at least $20 million in state budget funds each year for the next five. If everything goes according to his plan, the outcome by the end of 2019 will be a state winemaking corporation, ripe for privatization, with 140,000 hectares [...]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow The Russian government commenced its counter-sanctions programme a month ago, on August 7. This extended what had been a quarter-billion dollar loss for Australian meat exporters, beginning on March 31, to more than $7 billion in losses for the European Union plus Canada and Norway. In a briefing Prime Minister Dmitry [...]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow Russian dairy producers have filed for protection from pseudo-cheese exported in growing volumes from Ukraine through customs checkpoints in the Belgorod region. According to Soyuzmoloko, the Russian dairy producers’ association, Ukrainian exporters have been cutting their cheese shipments across the border, and more than doubling the volume of the substitutes, camouflaging [...]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow Stealth warfare against the Russian economy may be encouraging capital outflows, but for Russians on the home front, glasses are still being raised with a growing volume of sparkling wine or champagne going down the hatch. Abrau-Durso, the only Russian winemaker listed on a public stock exchange, is also going up, [...]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow The Australian Government has decided not to exclude President Vladimir Putin from the summit meeting of the G-20 heads of government scheduled for Brisbane in November. The move to withdraw the entry ban, first declared on March 19, is too late to prevent the restoration of Australia’s $200 million beef export [...]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow Australian meat imports to Russia have been banned by an order of the Russian veterinary and phyto-sanitary service, Rosselkhoznadzaor (RSN). The order was issued on March 31, and halts a trade which earned Australian meat exporters almost $200 million last year. The Russian action came twelve days after the Australian Foreign [...]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow The assets of Petro Poroshenko, frontrunner in the Ukrainian presidential election called for May 25, are facing growing pressure in Crimea and mainland Russia. If US and French Government proposals now in discussion in Brussels expand anti-Russian sanctions to strike at the offshore assets of Russian oligarchs, Poroshenko is likely to [...]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow Would you buy a used car from David Bonderman (lead image), Dmitry Shvets, and Jan Dunning if you knew they registered their businesses in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Cayman Islands, and Bahamas; kept their takings out of their companies and in their pockets; and were more heavily indebted to the [...]